I chopped and hauled another load of bamboo home on my bike, cut all the branches off the poles, loaded them all up in my car, and drove out to the Sharing Garden at the refugee community garden in Clarkston, Georgia.
My friend met me there, and together we finished building the summer crop structure, planted peppers and herbs, weeded, and walked around looking at the bed springs and bike locks that border and secure the plots of land where refugees-of-war grow their lives — literally, metaphorically. She had an idea that I would never have had, and the project is now better because of her.
We grabbed coffee and a croissant at Refuge Coffee and then strolled down the block to the first and only tiny home community in the USA State of Georgia.
She said it was an incredible, eye-opening day, and it was. It always is, all these years later as I’ve been going to this most-diverse-square mile in the USA for a long time now. For the past seven months, it is the normal way I’ve been spending Saturdays (although I often ride my bike there when I don’t have a ton of stuff to bring), since a week before the US withdrew the last troops from Afghanistan on August 31, 2021 (I initially went to volunteer just for a couple of hours as I needed to take some sort of positive action that I thought would somehow be helpful, but one thing led to another). Many families from Afghanistan have arrived in this major-refugee-relocation city now. I’ve helped connect some with bikes.
It is easy to feel hopeless and as if there is nothing we can do to make a difference. However, there are many ways to take small actions in our world-in-crisis. They say planting a seed is the ultimate act of faith in the future, and so, for me, I always start there.
The way forward may be different for you, but there is a way forward. And the future needs you. Please keep showing up. Please do not give up. You are necessary. (If you think you would like to be involved with this garden, I need someone to water on Wednesdays. Contact me if that person is you.)
Here are TikToks from when this garden started (there have been many more gardens, elsewhere, before this). Imagine what is possible.
Update — see TikToks below, and then what happened next